The Worst States in America for the Environment

What makes a state ‘the least environmentally friendly?

The second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world is the United States. It is also one of the nations with the best environmental practices in the world. The Environmental Performance Index, or EPI, is a ranking of states based on their environmental performance. The ranking is based on 25 indicators that measure how well the state protects human health and ecosystems from environmental damage.

From most ecologically favorable to least environmentally friendly, states are ranked. The least risk to the environment is in the top-ranked states.

What Makes These States so Bad for the Environment?

Although the United States is one of the most developed nations in the world, not all of its states are equally developed. Natural resources can be found in abundance in some states but not in others. And that causes a serious issue for the environment.

Any toxic or possibly harmful substance that enters our air or water supply is referred to be pollution. Smog from companies and chemical waste dumps both have the potential to damage the air we breathe and the water we drink. Additionally, not only may the air we breathe or the water we drink be contaminated, but also our land due to oil spills, mining waste, and pesticides. When it comes to pollution, some states are worse than others because they either have more factories or less legislation to safeguard their people and their environment.

North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma are the five states with the worst environmental policies.


The globe is on the verge of a global warming catastrophe, so it’s critical that we step back and assess how our nation is causing this catastrophe. Louisiana is one of the five least environmentally friendly states in America, according to the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

The high levels of air pollution from industry, refineries, and oil rigs are mostly to blame for this. Additionally, Louisiana has 10,000 active oil and gas rigs and more than 553 industrial facilities that are operating without permits, which all contribute to the state’s high asthma rates. These causes have generally caused Louisiana’s air quality to be considered “hazardous.”


According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Oklahoma is the state with the worst environmental practices. Their findings indicate that Oklahoma performs poorly in each of the six categories examined: energy consumption, generation and disposal of hazardous waste, generation and disposal of toxic chemicals, air and water quality, and toxic chemicals.

West Virginia

West Virginia is not the most environmentally friendly state, coming in 49th for carbon emissions per person and 46th for renewable energy sources. In addition, their 27% recycling rate has resulted in more coal mining despite their efforts to abandon this form of fossil fuel. In the US, WV is home to the most toxic waste sites.


Wyoming generates over 30 billion pounds of garbage annually. In terms of pollution and land preservation, this state comes in last on the list of environmentally friendly states. In terms of pollution and protecting the environment, Wyoming is the least environmentally friendly state.

North Dakota.

North Dakota is the least environmentally friendly state in the United States, according to an independent study by WalletHub. The study ranked all 50 states based on pollution and environmental quality, air quality, water quality, energy consumption, and climate change & global warming.

Why is Environmental Sustainability Important?

Sustainability in the environment is crucial for the future of our world. It goes beyond just cutting back on CO2 emissions and recycling trash. It involves taking a close look at every element of our lives and working to make them as sustainable as we can. The necessity of renewable energy sources is one of many ways that the significance of environmental sustainability may be observed. Since renewable energy sources offer a more environmentally friendly option, the demand for fossil fuels is declining. Natural catastrophes like Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which just slammed Puerto Rico, are growing more frequent and severe every year as a result of climate change.

The sustainability of the environment can be improved in numerous ways. Reducing waste in our homes, neighborhoods, and society as a whole is the first step. Recycling your glass, aluminum, and paper goods is one way to achieve this. Stop purchasing goods made of non-sustainable materials, such as plastic or polystyrene foam, as this is another crucial action. Every person may contribute to enhancing the environment in which we live, but it is up to society as a whole to act and bring about the necessary reforms to ensure the survival of our planet.

What are Some Actions We Can Take to Improve Their Rankings?

There are a few things you may do to raise your environmental report card rating. Utilizing more sustainable materials is the first step. This will lessen the negative effects on the environment and increase the environmental consciousness of your business. The second option is to eliminate any hazardous substances from your products. Third, you may lessen trash production by recycling and composting products wherever you can. Finally, you can finance energy-saving initiatives to contribute to long-term energy and financial savings.

You can do a lot to raise your scores on the environment report card. You can take a variety of actions to improve how sustainable and green your surroundings is.

Some of these actions include:

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle
  • Eat less meat
  • Use public transport or carpooling instead of driving alone
  • Buy products made from recycled materials and avoid disposable plastics
  • Switch to using reusable shopping bags


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